How did the Sooners make the NCAA?
OU’s baseball team made the NCAA Tournament, and no one in crimson — literally; not one person — thought it possible. Baseball coaches are just like basketball coaches. They politic for their team’s inclusion and they list all the reasons why they should be in the 64-team field and they never publicly give up hope.
But Sunny Golloway, who in years past has shown himself quite capable of making a pitch for his on-the-outside-looking-in Sooners, didn’t even put up an argument before the NCAA selection announcement. Golloway said what everyone else believed. That OU had to win the Big 12 Tournament to make the field.
You wonder if anyone in crimson even was watching when the final four-team regional was revealed, and there was OU, a No. 3 seed sent to Tempe, Ariz., to play Vanderbilt.
Amazing. A team that finished 34-24-1 and in eighth place in the 10-team Big 12 was placed in the field. ESPN analysts made a big deal of defending NCAA champ Oregon State’s exclusion, and when you compare the Beavers to the Sooners, well, there’s really no comparison. Oregon State won series from Arizona, Arizona State and Georgia; all three are among the national top eight seeds. OU’s best series wins? Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech. None made the NCAA field.
Barely a week ago, OU seemed destined to not even make the Big 12 Tournament field. The Sooners made it only by beating OSU on the final Sunday of the regular season AND with Kansas State rallying to beat Kansas. Then OU beat Texas A&M and Missouri in the Big 12 Tournament and almost beat Texas in the game that determined a Big 12 finalist.
But no one believed OU had done enough to get in the NCAAs. Which makes you wonder what the NCAA committee saw. OU’s strength of schedule was decent, and it had some quality non-conference wins.
But what is there’s another answer. What if the committee just doesn’t know any better? I’m serious. The NCAA basketball selections are made under a mighty glare. If the committee screws up, everybody knows it. But who knows enough about college baseball to claim expert status? Should be, just the committee.
And that’s what makes me wonder about the inclusion of the Sooners. We don’t know who belongs in the NCAA Tournament. But people here in Oklahoma know who DOESN’T belong. OU. The Sooners were not a good team. They placed eighth in the 10-team Big 12 and were a lot closer to ninth than to seventh.
The Sooners themselves knew they didn’t belong. The committee thought otherwise. Maybe it’s the committee that doesn’t have a clue.
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